STATE COLLEGE — Late Sunday morning during the Pennsylvania Track Coaches Association's state meet, Matt Julian soaked in the moment from the far pole vault put at Penn State's multi-sport facility. The Penn Manor senior, who vaulted up the state's pole vault rankings throughout the indoor season, was one of two vaulters left vying for a state championship.
"When I was attempting 16 feet," he said, "with (Germantown Academy's) Caleb Johnson, who is a phenomenal athlete, I was like, 'Wow, there's just the two of us left. That's incredible.'"
Neither athlete cleared 16-0, but with clearances at 15-6, Johnson claimed the title based on fewer attempts and Julian, in his first state meet, brought home silver to add to his breakout winter campaign.
"This year," Julian said, "I've been growing a lot with my strength and form. The closer I got to the state meet, my coaches were like, 'Hey, you can win this. You can place.' And I believed it."
Julian's rise started during his first meet of the season at VaultWorX, where he began training after the outdoor season. Julian took place and cleared 14-7. He cleared 15-0 at the PTFCA's carnival. Sunday, he cleared 13-6, 14-0, 14-6 and 15-6 on his first attempt. His only miss during his run to a silver medal came at 15-0.
Penn Manor's Matt Julian clears 15-0 in the PTFCA boys pole vault championship on his second attempt. He's still going. pic.twitter.com/6TN0vdb4Tj— Tim Gross (@TimGrossLNP) February 24, 2019
"It was a super confidence booster," Julian said of his first few attempts. "I was nervous. This was my first state meet, and I really don't do that great when it comes to big meets. But I pulled it together today."
Locker, Shields win sections
Elizabethtown's Katie Locker added a pair of medals in the 800-meter run and 1-mile run after winning the first section of both events. Locker won her section of the 800 in a personal-record time of 2:15.18, more than two seconds ahead of Penn Hills' Miniya Pinnix (2:17.64), to finish eighth overall. Earlier in the day, Locker won the first section of the 1-mile run at 5:06.20, finishing eighth overall.
E-town's Katie Locker made her move four laps into the her PTFCA girls 1-mile state-championship section. She pulls away to win the first segment at 5:06.20. Now she waits to see if her time holds up. pic.twitter.com/VikwdSc9U6— Tim Gross (@TimGrossLNP) February 24, 2019
Warwick's Connor Shields also placed in the mile, winning the first section of the boys event in 4:24.87, a personal record, to finish eighth overall.
Cardina jumps right in
After wrapping up his senior basketball season, Conestoga Valley's Joe Cardina needed just one regular-season meet to qualify for the state championships in the long jump, clearing 6-2 at the Feb. 15 North Shore Pre-National Invitational.
Cardina jumped higher Sunday, clearing 6-6 to finish fourth.
Photo finish in the 4x4
The McCaskey girls — Kiamorey Clark, Rachelle Tejeda, Nicte Machado and Stenid Manning —found themselves in a fierce finish during the second section of the 4x400-meter relay, as 0.17 seconds separated the top three finishers. Penn Hills won the section to finish ninth overall at 4:03.74. Butler crossed next to finish 10th at 4:03.85. McCaskey took third place in the section, 11th place overall, at 4:03.88.
Historic performance in the sprints
Warwick's Leah Graybill, Lily Palacio-Lewis and Meghan Quinn all advanced to the 60-meter hurdles final, where they ran into a historic performance. Girard College's Thelma Davies won her fourth indoor state title in the event at 7.31 seconds, breaking her own meet record. Davies followed it up with a win in the 200-meter dash at a meet-record time of 23.51.
PTFCA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (Full Results)
STATE COLLEGE — It didn't take long for Lampeter-Strasburg's Ezra Mellinger to make an impac…
Brock Gingrich — shot put, 11th (50-8.75)
Obed Bawmungwa — high jump, nh
Joe Cardina — high jump, fourth (6-6)
Nate Grucelski — 1-mile run, 11th (4:27.34)
Andrew Foster — 3,000-meter run, 12th (9:28.38)
Tyler Shue — 800-meter run, first (1:54.28); 1-mile run, 12th (4:27,65)
Ezra Mellinger — 60-meter dash, third (6.92 final, 6.91 semifinal, 6.91 prelim); long jump, first (24-11.5)
Will Rivers — triple jump, 11th (43.8)
Ian Miller — 3,000-meter run, sixth (6:52.67)
Dejon Manning — 60-meter dash, 18th (7.13)
4x200-meter relay — Da'Avionce Rodriguez, Dejon Manning, Amere Dickinson and Donovan Trowery, 18th (1:33.81)
Matt Julian — pole vault, second (15-6)
Connor Shields — 800-meter run, 12th (1:59.82); 1-mile run, eighth (4:24.87)
Gwyneth Young — 3,000-meter run, 10th (10:17.16)
Sarah Castronova — 400-meter dash, 17th (1:00.39)
Jordyn Hock — 60-meter dash, 20th (8.02)
Jane Livingston — 60-meter hurdles, first (8.38 final, 8.50 semifinal, 8.97 prelim)
4x400-meter relay — Emily Castronova, Jane Livingston, Sarah Castronova and Jordyn Hock, 14th (4:05.76)
Katie Locker — 800-meter run, eighth (2:15.18); 1-mile run, eighth (5:06.20)
Madeline Quinn — 3,000-meter run, 12th (10:32.56)
Megan Grube — 400-meter dash, 19th (1:00.72)
Sydney Horn — pole vault, first (12-6)
4x200-meter relay — Deja Nortey, Nicte Machado, Stenid Manning and Kaila Canty, 17th (1:47.87)
4x400-meter relay — Kiamorey Clark, Rachelle Tejeda, Nicte Machado and Stenid Manning, 11th (4:03.88)
Juliette Delmotte — triple jump, nm
Kate Dickow — 3,000-meter run, first (9:56.44)
Leah Graybill — 60-meter dash, fourth (7.62 final, 7.64 semifinal, 7.68 prelim); 200-meter dash, fifth (24.60)
Cassidy Kline — 400-meter dash, 18th (1:00.59); 60-meter hurdles, 24th (9.73)
Lily Palacio-Lewis — 60-meter dash, fifth (7.64 final, 7.64 semifinal, 7.66 prelim); 200-meter dash, 19th (26.15)
Meghan Quinn — 60-meter dash, eighth (7.86 final, 7.75 semifinal 7.83 prelim)
4x200-meter relay — Leah Graybill, Lily Palacio-Lewis, Meghan Quinn and Cassidy Kline, first (1:41.70)
4x400-meter relay — Meghan Quinn, Cassidy Kline, Lily Palacio-Lewis and Leah Graybill, eighth (4:02.41)